Police have discovered a suspected "homebake" heroin lab following an armed raid of an Auckland house.
The lab was discovered in a Housing New Zealand property in Onehunga during an early morning police operation on July 28. Police had been monitoring the house following an anonymous tip-off and had initially believed the occupants may have been selling methamphetamine. But a search of the property uncovered hundreds of used and full syringes, and a homebake kit allegedly used to manufacture heroin.
Around half a dozen full syringes are believed to contain heroin, police say. Further tests are being carried out. A "large amount of cannabis" was also found on the property.
Constable Don Allan says the find was a surprise for the Onehunga Policing Team. "We've never ever comes across heroin manufacturing at all." Police say a male and female were arrested at the address. Allan says police suspect the tenant of the property had been subletting the house to the occupants.
A Housing New Zealand spokeswoman says subletting a state house to other people is considered a serious breach of the Tenancy Agreement.
The police descended onto the property at about 5am on July 28. The Armed Offender Squad was first to enter the house before the specialist clan lab team tested the address for potential contamination. The team was unable to find any evidence of contamination from methamphetamine and released the property to police who carried out a search.
Allan says the house was covered with used and full syringes. "They were in the freezer, on the table, in the bed and all over the bedside table." He says staff from the forensics team identified some of the equipment as a homebake kit used for manufacturing heroin. Police are unsure if the occupants of the property were supplying drugs. "There was no cash on the property that would help identify if they were dealing," Allan says.
Heroin is classified as a Class A drug in New Zealand and can attract a maximum of life imprisonment for importing, manufacturing and/or supplying. Possession carries a potential six-month prison term and/or a $1000 fine.
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